Nmea0183Tester Tool

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Luis Sa
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Nmea0183Tester Tool

Post by Luis Sa » Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:18 am

Scroll down to get the latest version of the tool (2.3)

Hello,

I am revising the Nmea4Wifi tool. I already posted here that the tool (a Windows Program) has 2 aims:
  • to setup the Nmea4Wifi multiplexer
  • to test transmission and reception of Nmea 183 sentences
In addition to the revision of the tool (revision 1.0 already available, and expect a second one) I decided to separate the part related to the Nmea4Wifi multiplexer and create a tool only to test multiplexers or nmea183 devices. I called it Nmea0183Tester.

I will describe how it works and I ask you to read this again after viewing the video below. The tool has 2 parts. One for transmitting sentences that are stored in a text file and another part to receive sentences and record them into a file.

The Transmitting Part has what I called 3 Targets (or destinations): COM, UDP and TCP. With a simple "usb to serial" cable adapter you can feed any of the Nmea183 input ports of a multiplexer or any Nmea183 listener. For that you direct the sentences to the COM port. You can also send sentences by wifi from your computer to any of my multiplexers either by UDP (eg using the UDP protocol) or TCP. For that it is imperious that your computer is connected to the wifi network created by the multiplexer. The file that contains the sentences can be transmitted periodically or just once. There is check box that if set means that the transmissions stops when you reach the end of the file, You can also set the time interval between the transmitted sentences. In the video this time is 100 ms which means that about 10 sentences are sent in 1 second. You can also filter the sentences, but this was not explored in the video. In order to start the transmission you press the button "Resume". The transmission starts immediately in the case of COM and UDP targets as there are just sent and forgotten. In the case of the TCP target the transmission only starts if the multiplexer is set to receive TCP packets. This is so because the TCP protocol is a connection protocol. The sender and the receiver much establish a connection and then the transmission starts. If there are errors, the receiver asks the sender to repeat the lost packets.

The Receiving Part is very similar. In these case there are 3 Sources: COM, UDP and TCP. The UDP source is only specified by a port number. The file that receives the sentences is empty in the video. To start the reception you should press "Resume" as in the previous case. However you only get sentences if someone is sending them. If you are receiving sentences by wifi, your computer needs to be connected to the multiplexer. During the development of the tool, many times I thought that something was wrong to discover that the cause was that my computer was connected to home wifi network instead of being connected to the multiplexer AP (Access Point).

nmea4large.jpg

This is a picture of the multiplexer I was using during the recording of the video. It was the Nmea4Wifi Large version with just a USB cable connected to power it up. I could try to send and receive trough USB (in the case of this multiplexer) but I limited the video to the case of sending sentences trough UDP and receiving through TCP. So all the multiplexer check boxes were unchecked except the case "UDP > TCP". I used the ports 2000 for UDP and 3000 for TCP. These ports should be the same in both ends. The Nmea0183Tester tool has "SetDefault" buttons that store the settings inside an "ini file" so that you do not need to change again a particular setting except if you need to modify a parameter. In the end the received file has the same content as the sent file. The video finalizes this post. I used the free tool EZVID that I downloaded this afternoon and therefore the video is not professional so to speak. I hope that in the future I will post "tutorial videos" to help users to understand better and easier the particularities of the multiplexers. Please see the video in full screen!


Regards, Luis
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Luis Sa
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Posts: 294
Joined: Thu May 04, 2017 4:12 am

Re: Nmea0183Tester Tool

Post by Luis Sa » Sun Nov 24, 2019 5:57 pm

Hello,

Here is version 2.1 of the Nmea0183Tester tool. I created a dummy COM port called NONE which you should set when there is not COM port connected to your computer. I created a "Record is ON" checkbox so that you either receive only or receive and record to a file. Some other bugs and corrections. On the Receive Panel we can chose between show or not show a Time Stamp for the received sentence. In the Transmit Panel there is a button "Send 1st Line" that will send out the first line on the panel. Note that you edit (cut, paste, clear etc.) this panel so that you can adjust the first line and send it out without reading from a file.

Note - one problem that you need to pay attention is: when you open the LOG or the SEND file with the buttons "OPEN", the main window hides and the Notepad application shows the files. You can change and save the contents of the files within the Notepad application. When you close Notepad the main window reappears. The problem is if, by chance, you minimize Notepad, you may think that the main program was closed. No! You need to maximize again Notepad and close it. Doing that, you regain control of the main program.

nmea0183tester-tool.gif

Regards, Luis
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Luis Sa
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Re: Nmea0183Tester Tool

Post by Luis Sa » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:25 pm

Hello,

I spent 2 full days trying to see if I could send Seatalk1 datagrams directly from the computer (from the Nmea0183Tester Windows program) but I gave up. Each byte in the datagram is sent with 1 Start bit, 9 data bits and a Stop bit. The 9th bit should be "1" in the 1st byte and "0" in the following bytes of the datagram. In Visual Studio you can set the Parity bit as Mark ("1"), as Space ("0") or None. I was trying to set the parity to Mark before sending the 1st byte and then changing it to Space for the rest of the datagram. I found that I had to wait until the 1st byte was out (was sent) before changing the setting of the parity, But when I change the parity to Space there is a long delay before the serial port starts adding the parity = Space. I gave up, but if someone reading this knows how to send SeaTalk1 datagrams through a serial port, I will be glad to know how!

Regards, Luis

Luis Sa
Site Admin
Posts: 294
Joined: Thu May 04, 2017 4:12 am

Re: Nmea0183Tester Tool

Post by Luis Sa » Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:23 am

Hello,

You can get version 2.3 here.

Regards, Luis
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